Cumbrian rugby clubs have had to make new plans as Covid-19 restrictions changed once again.

After new restrictions put an end to original plans for a new mini cluster league, hopes are raised that a different scheme may be approved.

Kendal RUFC chairman Stephen Green said: “Originally the RUFC had published a set of clusters of which teams could play.

“There were groups of teams who under normal circumstances wouldn’t have likely played each other, either due to being in different leagues, but geographically under the restrictions it made sense that these teams were closer together and could play one another.

“It was originally agreed that we would be in a cluster with Blackburn, Kirkby Lonsdale, Preston Grasshoppers, Rossendale and Vale of Lune.

“We were really up for that.

“However, when the new tiers were introduced it was only us and Kirkby Lonsdale who could play each other.

“When everything changed it turned into a bit of nonsense.

“Tier three clubs can’t travel out of their tiers, or train.

“Also, we can’t go to them.

“It put the brakes on the whole thing so it just wouldn’t work.

“We made some inquiries about other local clubs like Penrith in the hopes of putting together some games but who knows if that will be possible when things are changing so quickly.

“In the meantime, the RUFC have produced another cluster where Kirkby Lonsdale and Kendal can be put in with places like Keswick, Carlisle and other clubs.

“These new clusters have not been approved as of yet but will likely be either today or tomorrow. We are hopeful they will be agreed on.

“As it stands, we were due to return to the pitch on January 23 – in a month effectively – in a full contact game that would have no scrums and no mauls.

“It could have included a mix of home and away games against other teams in the clusters. It is difficult under the new rules because we can’t play other tier clubs.

“Kirkby Lonsdale’s club and ourselves have both said it wouldn’t work, and that the new proposal made more sense, if it gets approved of course.

“Spectators won’t be a problem, as we can get them in and spread them out. However, we can’t have people in the bar and, if we do, they must be from the same household. If four friends came in to watch and had to be put on four single tables two metres apart it just wouldn’t work for anyone. We can do takeaway drinks and food but there is a rule that means you can’t eat it on the premises which is very strange.

“We want to run things sensibly and make sure it's enjoyable for everyone. But the changing of the rules is countering that in a lot of sense. The Government saying to a club that it can go and spend money to sort things out for itself is great, but then telling them we can’t have a bar or serve food.

“They’re saying ‘go and play’, but we won’t give you the tools to get your economy back on its feet.”